If you’re going to establish a relationship with God, it’s important to know what pleases Him.
Let’s look at Cain for example. The Bible says Cain wanted to worship God with an offering, and he tried to do so by giving God an offering of the fruit of the ground. But God didn’t have any respect for his offering.
Why not? Was it because of the TYPE of offering Cain was giving? Was it the QUALITY of the offering? Or was it because of the HEART behind the one making the offering? The Bible doesn’t say directly in Genesis, although in Hebrews, it mentions that Abel’s offering was made in faith. (And we know that without faith, it’s impossible to please God, and that anything not done in faith is sin.) So I assume Cain’s offering wasn’t made in faith. Or that his offering was given with sin in his heart. Who knows…
Some say, “It’s the thought that counts.” And maybe that’s true if the gift comes from someone who doesn’t know you personally. But if you do know someone personally, it’s not just the thought that counts. It’s knowing what pleases the person that counts. And that knowledge only comes through communication.
One time, a close friend of mine bought me a cake for my birthday. He brought it to my job and surprised me. I was touched by his act of kindness–By him using the love language of “gift giving”. However, when I opened the cake, I noticed it was a coconut cake. And if only my friend would have spent more time communicating with me, he would have known that I DISLIKE, HATE, DESPISE, DETEST, etc. anything with coconut in it, especially coconut cake. I rejected the cake at first. But then I had mercy on him and accepted the cake, but just wiped all the coconut icing off. Lol.
When you’re married, it’s the same thing. You can’t just do things for your spouse without communicating with them to know what pleases them. What if you buy them flowers, but they are allergic to flowers? What if you get them a pet, but they’re afraid of animals? What if you buy them a certain type of clothes, but they don’t support that brand or style? What if you want to spice things up in your marriage by trying a new sex act/position with them, but they don’t get down like that?
That’s why before you just start doing things with or for your spouse, you should ask them questions to learn them first. I’m not saying surprises are bad or that you should never be spontaneous, challenge your spouse or try new things. But you’ll be highly upset and offended if you thought your spouse would accept your offering, but they let you know that they have no respect for it. High expectations lead to disappointments.
But you can eliminate that “I-would-have-never-known-you-didn’t-like-this” moment, if, instead of ASSUMING things about your spouse, you actually COMMUNICATE consistently and effectively with them, asking them questions, and learning what pleases them.
It’s the same thing with God. You can’t just worship God any type of way you want, when He commands for you to worship him in Spirit and in truth. You can’t just offer him a gift at the alter when your heart is wicked, if he makes it clear that he’s not going to receive your gift if you still have unresolved issues in your heart toward your brother. You can’t just serve in whichever ministry you want and expect him to just bless the work of your hands, when he says it’s the Spirit’s job to determine your ministry and that you shouldn’t do anything unless the Father leads you to do it. Don’t assume what God wants from you. Fellowship with God in prayer and in his word to see what pleases him. You have to do things the way God requires them to be done. For obedience is better than sacrifice.
I believe it’s safe to say that if Cain had spent time talking and fellowshipping with God, he would have been able to know God’s heart and how to make an offering to Him that would have been respected and accepted. And if you would spend more time with God, your spouse, friend, etc., you would know what it takes to please them, too.